I don't want to appear out of step with rational people – it's so hard to regain people's trust once they suspect you've gone off the rails – but that doesn't mean that I don't endorse Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone's suggestion last week to partition California into two states.
Thanks to the recession and various iterations of the dot-com boom and bust, Silicon Valley has a large, stagnant pool of empty office and light industrial space. The same region is woefully underbuilt with housing. Unsurprisingly, homebuilders are making inroads into the underused office parks and industrial sites in Santa Clara County.
As a journalist, I regularly say some strong things about buildings and urban planning, although not without the anxious feeling deep inside that my big mouth will someday get me into trouble. And, as it turns out, not entirely without reason: sometimes, I can lose work because of my opinions. Wherein hangs the tale.
I have published so many corrections in my journalism career that I now write the correction along with the story. To wit: The following story is all made up. There is no draft EIR for the downtown football stadium yet. Yet few readers are aware that I possess the flawless crystal sphere of Nostradamus, which gives me super powers to see accurately into the future. (Note to editor: Do I have to run corrections for inaccurate statements about myself? I mean, who would know?)
Gosh, it's really, really hard to guess what the negative impacts might occur, when building a football stadium with seating for 70,000 or so people rises in downtown Los Angeles. Let's see now.
… And that's the end of the fairy tale: Prince Nokia came to Princess Downtown Sunnyvale, providing the city with new jobs, plus helping complete the long-unfinished office building that had annoyed Sunnyvale for years. And the prince and princess lived happily ever after ….
Oh, Gramps, I love that story! Tell it to me again.
It's past your bedtime, swee' pea, and it's even getting late for me….
If I ever write a book about the crisis of the world's largest cities, this photograph from the Oct. 24 edition of the LA Times should be on the cover: A 27-story, 400,000-square-foot private home (!) built by a Mumbai billionaire Mukesh Ambani, reportedly the world's fourth-richest individual.
Urban Land Institute, it's time you and me had a serious chat about your awards criteria.
As the foremost trade group of real estate developers, I find value in many of your publications and programs. And I find it understandable that you would laud large-scale development projects. Making projects is your businesses.
But when you give a national award to a very questionable project like LA Live, the entertainment-and hotel complex that covers nearly 20 acres of downtown Los Angeles, it shows that your regard for urban quality comes second place to your round-eyed puppy love for big developers and big plans.
Much has been written about the economic potential of alternative energy. So the proposal to build a 7,000-acre solar farm in Riverside County near Blythe struck me as notably promising. The new plant would be capable of generating 1,000 Mw, or more than all the photovoltaics that have been so far installed in California, according to a recent New York Times article.